Richland Students March Wednesday, About 600 Between 8 Schools
According to Richland officials, about 600 kids, scattered between Richland, Hanford, a couple of middle and elementary schools, marched around 10am Wednesday morning against violence in schools.
The students rallied for more gun control, and greater access to mental health care and facilities. Richland, and Hermiston as well, allowed these marches to take place.
However, Kennewick officials (confirmed by phone call to officials at Kamiakin) indicated any student who chose to leave school Wednesday as part of a 'march' would be marked as "unexcused." This move drew a lot of praise on social media from parents and adults. Pasco did the same move, unexcused.
Supporters praised the students for exercising their right of free speech and taking a stand, while critics said the students and children are being exploited by anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment groups.
A lot of buzz was generated by a counter-movement called WalkUP, where students were urged to take the time to 'walk up' and engage students who appear to always be alone; walk up and stand up for those being bullied; walk up and talk with people they've had differences with etc.
The WalkUP movement stressed engaging with others to help prevent actions that often lead to school violence, as well as watching for behaviors that could indicate situations like that are developing. The movement stresses getting out of your comfort zone, and helping ensure students have a positive experience in school.
It's a fact that a number of school shootings and violent incidents stemmed from bullying and mistreatment of students by others.